It’s that no book-to-bill ratio any more – how will we live without it time again, and the best that The US Semiconductor Industry Association can do for those suffering withdrawal symptoms is to tell us that worldwide semiconductor sales fell in all four major markets compared with January (see Top Stories). Disconcertingly, Japan, which has been going nowhere very much ever since its stock market crashed in 1989, saw the largest fall, 4.4%, although the yen retreated 3.1% in the period, which is said to make the decline only 1.3% in local currency terms, although we venture to suggest that if the figures showing that Japan now imports getting on for 30% of its chips, the picture is rather more complicated than a straight subtraction of the two percentages. The Japanese figure was also off 13.8% compared with the figure for this time last year. In the Americas, February sales fell only 0.6% to $3.41bn – off 9.2% from a year ago, but they stumbled in the Asia-Pacific, falling 3.9% to $2.17bn compared with the January figure and 6.7% compared with this time last year. In the European market, February sales fell to $2.24bn, a fall of 1.1% from January’s figure and 2.3% from a year ago, although the market is going to be shaken up now by the anti-dumping duties the European Commission is imposing on imported memory chips. The Global Billings Report is drawn up to provide a three-month moving average of semiconductor sales in the four major semiconductor markets.